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5 higher ed thought leaders we are following

February 27, 2023

Thought leaders are known for their innovative ideas and research, their work often serving as a catalyst for change in the higher education system. We asked EAB’s top experts for recommendations on who to follow for new perspectives on higher ed’s latest trends. Here are a few people we are following.

Thought leaders to follow

Anant Agarwal

Anant Argarwal’s mantra is direct: “education is a human right–everyone should have access to it like the air we breathe.” As chief platform officer of 2U and founder of EdX, Agarwal is dedicated to expanding education opportunities for everyone through online platforms. Argarwal has shared his vision for the future of education on a variety of talk shows and public platforms including The Colbert Report.

Bonni Stackowiak

In her widely popular podcast, Teaching in Higher Ed, Bonni Stackowiak discusses top of mind issues for both leaders and early career professionals. Topics covered on her podcast include excellence in teaching, instructional design, open education, diversity and inclusion, productivity, creativity in teaching, educational technology, and blended learning. In addition to her podcast, Stackowiak shares resources for education professionals on her blog and through her workshops.


Brandon Busteed

In addition to his role as Chief Partnership Officer and Global Head of Learn-Work Innovation at Kaplan, Brandon Busteed, is known for his expertise in talent development and higher ed leadership. He has been named a LinkedIn “Top Voice” in education and is a frequent contributor for Busteed joined us in 2021 for our Presidential Experience Lab, EAB’s signature event for college and university presidents to take inspiration from out-of-industry exemplars to consider thought-provoking concepts, lessons and trends to help shape their leadership e­fforts and institutional strategy. At that event, he discussed with other panelists the need for institutions to offer more accessible career development opportunities, including developing funds to support students taking unpaid internships who could otherwise not afford the opportunity.

Erika H. James

Erika H. James is an award-winning educator, author, and researcher, as well as the first woman and first person of color to be appointed dean of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Her new book co-authored with Lynn Perry Wooten, The Prepared Leader: Emerge from Any Crisis More Resilient Than Beforeexplores why prepared leadership should be a priority for all organizations.


Nathan D. Grawe

Nathan D. Grawe, professor of economics at Carleton College, is perhaps best known for his two blockbuster books Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education and The Agile College. His work examining the impact of demographic shifts on the future of higher education has become a talking point and top of mind issue for industry leaders. In 2021, Grawe and EAB’s Sally Amoruso sat down for a discussion to dig into his fresh insights into enrollment, retention, and broader higher education strategy shifts that Grawe believes are having the greatest impact.


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